When author Matt Haig was in the darkest days of his depression, he noted down any and all of the quotes, advice, observations, inspiration, or anecdotes that brought him comfort and hope. The Comfort Book grew from this principle of hope and Haig's desire to share it with readers. Designed to be a cover-to-cover companion on the worst days, or simply to dip into when you're feeling a little lost, this unique read offers a gentle dose of affirmation and self-care within every page.
Rating: 4 stars Genre: Literary fiction, magical realism Summary: When David sets out in his fishing boat from the island of Black Conch, on a morning that seems the same as any other, the last thing he expects is to come face-to-face with a mermaid. He always thought such creatures existed only in rumour and legend, but here one stares at his boat in the vulnerable reality of flesh and blood, and he must step in to protect her when American tourists arrive for a hunting trip like no other. David nurtures trust and then love between himself and the mermaid, desperate to carve out a life for them among the richness and darkness of his island home. Yet it remains to be seen whether this fusion of woman and myth can ever be his to hold onto.
Rating: 4 stars Category: Literary fiction Summary: In 1980, Elise follows her lover Connie from London to LA, where Connie's novel is being adapted into a major film. Their stormy love affair will leave its mark on the city. Three decades later, Rose is on the trail of the mother who left when she was a baby. The only clue she has is a book by elusive novelist Constance Holden, who may hold the key to why her mother left everything behind.
Rating: 4 stars Category: Biography Summary: Sarah Krasnostein first meets Sandra Pankhurst at a forensic services conference, where Sandra is promoting her trauma cleaning company. The lives (and deaths) touched by Sandra through her work, from murder victims to obsessive hoarders, immediately make an impression and inspire Krasnostein to learn more. There is one story, however, that will become the greatest fascination - one that holds all of these other disconnected and diverse lives together. It is the story of the trauma cleaner herself.
Rating: 4 stars
Category: Literary fiction
Following a sort-of breakup with her boyfriend, Queenie enters full rebound mode. But as she trawls dating apps, she soon realises that hooking up is hard enough without the added problem of racial fetishisation. To make things even worse her old-fashioned relatives view therapy as shameful and her boss at the magazine isn’t letting her write about anything she genuinely cares about.
As she bounces haplessly from one poor decision to another, Queenie realises that there’s nothing like hitting rock bottom to give you a whole new set of priorities.